Here it is...the last in the series of Rethinking Christmas. There has been so much to ponder and reflect on in the last few weeks. Worship fully made us think about how we come before our God in praise and worship. Spend less really focused on how to be not only good stewards, but how to build relationships without money and gifts being a driving factor. Give more got us thinking about different ways we can give to our families, our church, our community...in fact, all those around us, while shining God's light and sharing the blessings He has given us.
And now, love all. Not just family. Not just friends. Not just those who like us. But ALL. Love all. God wants us, commands us, to love one another. It's not a mushy huggy-kissy kind of love. But a love borne of the same compassion with which God loves us...sinners who fall short. He loves us without condition, with great patience, with kindness. He loves us no matter how we succeed or how we fail. He loves us even when our hearts are dark and ugly with sin. He loves us so much that He sent His son, a part of Himself, in the flesh to live amongst us, to feel the pain we feel, the love we feel, the frustrations we feel, the joy we feel, the angst, the grief.....to die for us. For our lies, our mistakes, our ugly sins that we hide from the world, for our bad attitudes, for our unkind words, thoughtless actions...all those things that would send us straight to the depths of hell. He came to raise our faces, to lift our hearts, to cleanse us from the dark ugliness of sin to a purity and a beauty that shines because of His grace.
He loves us with a love so great that Jesus came as a precious infant, grew into a man, and died a horrible, painful, torturous death to free us. He loves us with such a great love that our sins are separated from us as far as the east is from the west. He loves us! And asks us to love others....
We are to make the choice to love. To reach out to those around us....to love all. Easy? Not always. Some people are just not easy to love. Sometimes our own attitude puts up a wall that we choose not to break down. Sometimes we look away and decide to let others love in our place.
Look around you. Take a look at the people you see each day. Make a choice to love...because God loves you. Let this Christmas be the time when you rethink how you treat people...rethink how you love others...think about what you can do in the future to shine the light of God's love into the world, even just your little corner of it....
What does Christmas mean to you? Let's make it a time of giving of ourselves, giving God's love, spending time with others in such a way that gives Him glory.